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[ISN] Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools
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1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
- Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
- SharePoint Antivirus Solutions
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Security Forum Featured Thread
- Share Your Security Tips
4. New and Improved
- Encryption for SOHO
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==== 1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
You've most likely heard of Nmap, the network-mapping tool developed by
"Fyodor." Nmap is widely used and is a standard tool in countless
security administrators' toolkits. Fyodor operates a mailing list,
nmap-hackers, for general announcements, patches, and light discussion
In 2000 and 2003, Fyodor surveyed the members of the mailing list to
find out which security tools were their favorites. The 2000 survey
resulted in a list of the top 50 most popular security tools. The 2003
survey resulted in an expanded list of the top 75 most popular security
tools. Both lists have been great resources, and many people have
discovered new tools that they weren't previously aware of.
It's been three years since the last survey, and in that time lots of
new security tools have come into existence, while other security tools
have been updated (in some cases several times) with new features and
functionality. This year, Fyodor conducted a new survey, and 3243
people responded. This latest survey resulted in an even longer list:
the top 100 most popular security tools.
Although the list contains tools for several platforms, including
Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X, it's easy to figure out
which tools work on which platforms because each tool description
includes platform-specific icons. There are also icons that let you
know whether a tool is free, whether it has a command-line interface or
GUI, and whether source code is available.
Another feature of the list shows you whether the tool has risen or
dropped in popularity compared with the 2003 survey results.
Surprisingly, the top four tools on the current list remain unchanged
in their popularity rank. Those top four tools are Nessus, Wireshark
(formerly Ethereal), Snort, and Netcat. Metasploit Framework (released
after the 2003 survey) is new to the list and is ranked the fifth most
popular tool. Incidentally, you can read a semi-related news story,
"Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer," on our Web
site at the URL below.
An interesting trend revealed by 2006 survey results is that wireless
security is far more important to security administrators than it was
three years ago, evidenced by the fact that the wireless sniffer Kismet
rose from the 17th most popular tool in 2003 to 7th most popular tool
in 2006. Aircrack, originally released in mid-2004, now ranks as the
21st most popular security tool in the list. Aircrack helps crack Wired
Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption,
which, as you probably know, are typically used to help secure
communication on WiFi networks.
Another interesting trend is that two great password-cracking tools,
John the Ripper and Cain and Abel, broke into the top 10 as the 9th and
10th most popular tools respectively. John the Ripper was previously
ranked #11 in 2003 and Cain and Abel was ranked #23, so the latter made
quite a jump in popularity.
So that's a brief rundown of a few of the tools and trends from the
list. You can of course glean even more information about security tool
trends by reviewing the complete list, and you can learn about more
tools that are new to the list, such as BackTrack, P0f, WebScarab,
WebInspect, Core Impact, Canvas, and others. Check out the full survey
results at http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=3095B:4FB69 .
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==== 2. Security News and Features ====
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these
Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
Microsoft's anti-piracy tool, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), was
recently found to be regularly contacting Microsoft without informing
the user that such contact was taking place. Microsoft recently
modified the latest version of WGA to contact the company's
servers only once every two weeks. Nevertheless, a third party has stepped
in to prevent WGA from regularly contacting Microsoft's servers.
Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
A recently released exploit that takes advantage of problems in RRAS
has drawn the relative ire of Microsoft and the obligatory rebuttal of
a well-known security researcher.
SharePoint Antivirus Solutions
Interest in SharePoint is heating up. Online SharePoint discussion
groups such as those at Windows IT Pro's sister site MSD2D.com are
flourishing, evidence that more and more IT pros are either working
with Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office Share-Point Portal
Server 2003 or are investigating them. The downside of a collaboration
technology like SharePoint is that it exposes an organization to
security threats such as viruses. Fortunately, SharePoint-specific
antivirus solutions are available and our buyer's guide can help you
choose the best solution for you needs.
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Voylent Encrypts Cell Phone Calls
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=30958:4FB69
The recently released Zfone beta encrypts voice-over-IP calls. Now
you can encrypt cell phone calls too with the Voylent beta.
(by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=3095C:4FB69
Q: Is there a tool I can use to delete user profiles?
Find the answer at
Security Forum Featured Thread
Security and Permission consideration
(One message in this thread)
A forum participant writes that he has a group of people (other than
the Server Administrator) who are responsible for applications on
various servers. Those people have been given the local administrator
passwords for various servers so they can log on remotely to perform
certain tasks. However, those people sometimes take actions on a server
that go beyond their assigned tasks. Therefore he doesn't want those
people to have full administrator privileges on the servers and wonders
whether creating local accounts in the Power Users group would give
them enough rights to perform their administrative tasks?
Join the discussion at
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